E. Coli Outbreak and Ethanol By-Product - Is There a Link?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008 by: Teri Lee Gruss
Tags: e.coli, health news, Natural News

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) On September 23rd, 2007 a 20 year old Cold Spring, MN woman named Stephanie Smith ate E. coli contaminated ground beef. Five days later, with severe intestinal cramping she was admitted to a local hospital. Today she is in a drug-induced coma at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

While ethanol production is surging, pushing the cost of feed corn higher, cattle producers have started to use a by-product of ethanol production in livestock and poultry feed. This by-product is called distiller's grain (DGs) and it is presently a common practice to replace a percentage of corn based livestock and poultry feed with DGs.

Researchers at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine conducted three studies over a two year period to assess the effects of distiller's grain on beef cattle. What they found has led to questions regarding the increased incidence of E. coli 0157 outbreaks this year.

KSU researchers T.G. Nagaraja, Professor of Microbiology at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Jim Drouillard, Professor of Animal Sciences and Industry found that beef cattle fed a diet consisting of 25% distillers grain experienced a "two fold increase in the incidence of e.coli 0157" as measured in the animals' manure.

In a December 14th, 2007 KSU News Release, Nagaraja and Drouillard point out that additional research is needed before they can make recommendations to the cattle industry regarding their findings. Nagaraja added that they need to determine if there is " a component in the product (DGs) that sets up the growth of E. coli 0157". He also emphasized that distiller's grain does not contain E. coli.

Statistics from Cattle Network Magazine (CNM) online indicate that "The projections assume that 75 percent of distiller's grains is used in domestic livestock sector feeding. Of the portion of distillers grains used for domestic livestock feeding, 80 percent is assumed to be used for beef cattle, 10 percent for dairy, and 5 percent each for poultry and hogs".

In the CNM article Livestock Sector Use of Distillers Grains, a Coproduct of Ethanol Production the publication indicates that" Cattle feedlots located close to an ethanol plant will benefit from a steady supply of distillers grains".

The Center for Disease Control reports that on September 29th, 2007 21.7 million pounds of frozen ground beef patties were recalled by the USDA due to a multi-state outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7 infections. The first case was reported on July 5th and by October 26th, 40 cases of E. coli infection were reported. According to the CDC, two people developed a condition called hemolytic-uremic syndrome, a form of kidney failure caused by E. Coli 0157: H7.

KSU researcher Mr. Nagaraja emphasizes that "there is no evidence to suggest that a recent increase in the number of meat recalls related to E. coli 0157 has any connection to the practice of feeding distiller's grains". He added that "more research is needed before cattle feeders and the public should reach definitive conclusions".

According to a November 11, 2007 article in the Topeka Capital Journal online, Minneapolis based Cargill subsidiary Emerald Renewable Energy is set to build a $200 million dollar ethanol refinery in Kansas. US ethanol production is projected to hit 10 billion gallons annually, ahead of government goals for 2012.

"The plant in Shawnee County would inhale 40 million bushels of corn annually. (And about 1.1 million gallons of water a day). It would expel 100 million gallons of ethanol for blending with gasoline and 330,000 tons of distiller's grain, a high-nutrient feed for livestock. The process would generate an estimated 500 tons of air pollution each year, much of it carbon dioxide tied to global warming".

From a recent St. Cloud(Minnesota)Times newspaper article covering the Stephanie Smith story, "Doug Schultz, spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Health, said he can't confirm whether Stephanie's illness has been directly linked to the Sam's Club E. coli bacteria outbreak, which is still under investigation". The ground beef was apparently supplied by Cargill.

The KSU researchers aren't the only ones that look forward to further research into their disturbing findings. Is there an association between the increased use of distiller's grain in animal feed and a spiraling incidence of E.coli contaminated ground beef?

It's too early to say but, a two fold increase in the incidence of E. coli 0157 in beef cattle fed distiller's grain from ethanol should propel research into the fast lane, especially in light of the recent 21.7 million pound ground beef recall.

K-State Researchers Say It's Too Soon for Conclusions on Feeding Ethanol Byproduct to Cattle, Dec. 14, 2007
Livestock Sector Use of Distillers Grains, a Coproduct of Ethanol Production
Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157 Infections Linked to Topp's Brand Ground Beef Patties
When E. coli strikes, who pays? By Matt McKinney, Star Tribune
Last update: November 10, 2007
St. Cloud Times Online
Family struck by E. coli waits, watches By Kirsti Marohn

About the author

Teri Lee Gruss, MS Human Nutrition

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...


Now Available at

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...


Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...


Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at

Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.